The history of gun control is one of a constant shift in focus, CPAC attendees learned at a breakout session on Saturday. Anti-gun advocates have moved from a steady push to cancel the Second Amendment on the federal level, to shifting to state level campaigns, and in some cases they are winning because of the left’s ability to buy the press.
The session, lead by the NRA’s Leslie Rusnak, traced the basic historical timeline of efforts to curb our Second Amendment rights. Noting that the National Rifle Association started in 1871 to help train Americans in the use of firearms, Rusnak pointed out how remarkable it is that there was no such thing as an anti-gun group in the US until the 1930s. But when anti-gun advocates first started their efforts to curb the Second Amendment, they were focused on the federal level.
Rusnak started with the 1934 National Firearms Act which was aimed at curbing the lawlessness of Prohibition-era gangsters who had taken to using Thompson Submachine Guns in their interminable gang wars.
The ’34 Act was the first federal law to seriously curb American’s Second Amendment rights, Rusnak said. In one instance, the National Firearms Act put in place a licensing fee of $200 for each fully automatic weapon, pricing them out of reach for a country where the average yearly income was under $2,000. The act also banned the importation of fully automatic weapons.